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civil war

Junior Ranger Day at the Battlefield

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, the National Park Service and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will be celebrating National Junior Ranger Day.    Designed for children ages 4 yrs to 12 yrs old, the Junior Ranger program, at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, introduces our young visitors to the various resources and the many stories and events associated with the Civil War in SW Missouri.  According to Supt. Hillmer, “Make your plans now to attend this family event designed to educate our youth about the Battle of Wilson’s Creek”.

During this special Junior Ranger Day event, the staff and volunteers at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will be providing different presentations on civilian and military life during the civil war as well as providing tours at the Ray House.  Activities will be available continuously between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.  Children who complete the activity book will receive an official “Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield” Junior Ranger badge, and certificate.  The regular entrance fee will apply:  $5.00 per individual or $10.00 per vehicle.

The National Park Service is dedicated to conserving, unimpaired, the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

Junior Ranger photo is provided courtesy of the National Park Service.

Park Day Clean Up

Park Day Clean Up 2013

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will be holding its twelfth annual “Park Day” clean-up event in partnership with the Civil War Trust on Saturday, April 6, 2013.  Work will consist of cleaning and landscaping the areas around the picnic area, the visitor center, the park’s cemeteries and the Ray House.  A highway clean up along State Route ZZ is planned provided enough volunteers are present.

“Park Day is a great time to be part of Wilson’s Creek NB in making the park a better place to visit”, says Superintendent Hillmer, “Come and enjoy the outdoors and make the battlefield a special place in the greater Springfield area.”

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers should wear appropriate outdoor work clothing, work shoes or boots, and to bring work gloves, hat and sunscreen.  Work will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until about 3 p.m., depending on the project.  Persons wishing to volunteer for Park Day should call Park Ranger David Hutson at 417-732-2662, extension 385 to pre-register.

Park Day is an annual event sponsored by the Civil War Trust and the History Channel.  The day is an opportunity for local communities to improve the quality of Civil War battlefield areas in their area.  Volunteers will receive a t-shirt courtesy of the History Channel for their participation.

The Civil War Trust is America’s largest non-profit organization devoted to preservation of our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefield lands.  The Trust also promotes educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public about the war and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it.


Volunteer Recruitment Fair

On Saturday, March 9, 2013 Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is hosting a Volunteer Recruitment Fair from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The day’s activities will begin with a short video introducing the NPS Volunteer in Parks (VIP) program followed by a thirty-minute presentation to address some of the specific volunteer needs for the 2013 spring and summer season. Anyone interested in volunteering at the battlefield is encouraged to attend.  Volunteers should be at least sixteen years of age to participate in activities.   Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are not required for the meeting.

After the 9:00 a.m. presentation, visitors and prospective volunteers will have the opportunity to stop by several volunteer exhibition tables set up throughout the visitor center. Each station will be hosted a park staff member or one of the current volunteers at Wilsons’s Creek NB and provide opportunity for the public to learn first-hand about the various volunteer positions. In addition to answering questions the volunteers will also share personal in-sight as well as some of their own experiences with the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield volunteer program.

According to Superintendent Ted Hillmer, “The programs presented, at the park, are strongly supported by volunteers.  Come and be a part of preserving our nation’s history.”  A registration table will be staffed where new or ‘prospective’ volunteers can stop by for additional information and pick up or fill out the appropriate paperwork.

There is an immediate need for volunteers to assist during the busy spring school season (April/May) with providing educational tours of the historic Ray House as well short programs on Civil War medicine and other Civil War topics. These and other 2013 opportunities to volunteer will be discussed in further detail during the fair.

Battle of Springfield

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Springfield

At noon on January 8 the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Springfield with a ceremony at Park Central Square in Springfield. The event will include speakers, living historians in period clothing, Civil War-era music, an authentic cannon, and the unveiling of newly redesigned markers for the Battle of Springfield tour. Following the noon program, a reception will be hosted by the History Museum for Springfield – Greene County, in its temporary location at 155 Park Central Square. In case of inclement weather, the noon event will also be held in the History Museum.

The 12 Battle of Springfield markers, located throughout downtown Springfield, highlight key locations and details of the battle. Although the new markers have not yet been installed, a replica of Marker 1 will be in place on the square, and all of the markers will be on display in the History Museum. The original markers were funded with the support of local donors and designed by the Wilson’s Creek NB Foundation. They were installed by the City of Springfield and dedicated on May 19, 2001.

The 1863 Battle of Springfield took place in what is now downtown Springfield. One hundred fifty years ago, Federal troops and Missouri Militia led by Brig. General Egbert Brown successfully defended the city and the Union supply depot located here against an attack by Confederate cavalry under the command of Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke. The battle lasted from dawn to dusk, ending when the last Confederate assault was repelled and Marmaduke’s forces withdrew to the Phelps Farm (present day Phelps Grove Park). Of the 4,000 Federal and Confederate troops present, more than 400 were killed or wounded.

God's Chosen People

Civil War Author Presentation

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is honored to host renowned Civil War author George C. Rable, winner of the Lincoln Prize and two Jefferson Davis Prizes, on September 22, 2012, at 1:00 p.m., at the Visitor Center, in the multipurpose room.  Mr. Rable holds the Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History at the University of Alabama.  He is author of “Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism”, “The Confederate Republic: A Revolution against Politics”,and “Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!”, which won the Lincoln Prize.

Mr. Rable will talk about his recent book entitled, “God’s Almost Chosen Peoples – A Religious History of the American Civil War”.  Throughout the Civil War, soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict saw the hand of God in the terrible events of the day, but the standard narratives of the period pay scant attention to religion.  Now, in “God’s Almost Chosen Peoples”, Lincoln Prize-winning historian George C. Rable offers a ground-breaking account of how Americans used faith to interpret the course of the war.

Eastern National, management of the bookstore at the battlefield, is sponsoring this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Mark your calendars for the 22nd of September at 1:00 p.m. to attend this presentation by George C. Rable, which is free to the public.

Following Mr. Rable’s presentation and Q&A, Dr. William Piston (Professor of History at Missouri State University and author of several Civil War books) will direct a tour of the battlefield, for the regular fee of $5.00, to interested visitors.

The Library of Congress exhibition commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War will feature more than 200 unique items, many never before on public view.

One of the highlights will include:

Lithograph, made by Oehmigke & Riemschneider, showing the death of Union Gen. Nathanial Lyon at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri on Aug. 10, 1861.

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